Celtic: Superior depth gives champions edge over Rangers - Gordon Strachan

Gordon Strachan
Gordon Strachan is technical director at Scottish Championship side Dundee

Celtic's superior squad depth may give them the "advantage" over Rangers in the Scottish Premiership title race, believes former boss Gordon Strachan.

Neil Lennon's men sit two points clear at the league summit, having played a game more than their city rivals.

Ibrox manager Steven Gerrard was unimpressed by his fringe players in Saturday's Scottish Cup win over third-tier Stranraer.

"He'll be looking for more from the players he brought in," Strachan said.

"I think that's what might give Celtic the advantage. I see them making three or four changes and I don't see the standard dropping that much.

"Rangers have to keep their top 13, 14 players fit. I think Celtic can maybe miss three or four."

Rangers were deserved 2-1 winners in last month's Old Firm derby, their first victory at Celtic Park since 2010, as they aim to deny their foes a ninth-straight title.

Gerrard's side dominated the League Cup final earlier in December but lost to a controversial Christopher Jullien strike.

Former Scotland boss Strachan believes Celtic have been rejuvenated by the winter break, winning at Partick Thistle and then Kilmarnock, while Rangers' displays in beating Stranraer and St Mirren at home have dipped.

"Because of the performance in the last game against Rangers, that break looks like it's helped Celtic get over it," Strachan told BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound.

"I think it took Neil and the group three or four days to get over it. It might have been a problem if they'd had to play again three or four days after it. It might not have helped Rangers because they were on fire.

"If you look at the performances before it, Rangers were excellent and Celtic weren't at their best. They've come back, Celtic performances look a bit better than Rangers ones."

Rangers were without suspended top scorer Alfredo Morelos for both matches of 2020.

The Colombian has netted 28 times in 35 games this season, and Strachan says his influence is telling.

"When they see him on the pitch, defenders start to do strange things," he added. "Getting themselves sent off, making silly tackles in silly areas, trying to prove they are stronger than him.

"And I think the Rangers players think, thank goodness you're here with me today."

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